I am looking for some advice (maybe inspiration) from anyone who is or was overweight. I'm not talking 10-20 lbs overweight. I weigh about 350 and I am looking to get more fit and want to include some running hoping to get to at least the 5K distance. I can do 4 miles on the eliptical in an hour but when I go out to jog, I don't feel like I get anywhere before I need to walk. This gets very frustrating. Any ideas???
Forums » General Training » Running
Heavyweight beginner(12 posts)
Well... I don't know if I will make the grade... but here's my story.
I never exercised a day in my life till I was 34 years old.. by then I was 35% body fat and 60lbs overweight... seeing how I'm only 5'4"... that was a lot for my size.
Today, I'm a two time Ironman triathlete.
I lost my weight by exercise, exercise, and more exercise... oh yeah... and I changed my diet.
Anyway... it didn't happen over night... although I lost weight quickly (about 50lbs in 3 months)... it took me a couple years before I got the courage up to go out and do activities like races.
The hardest part was believing in myself.
The biggest piece of advise I can give you is, be patient with yourself! Find a regular routine and STICK TO IT. When you have a hard day... FORCE yourself to go to the gym or on that walk, run, or ride... Blog about it, and get the support and accountability from the group. It will help!
You're not alone!
Anyway, welcome to the community, and good luck in your goals.
I'm rooting for you!
Running outside is so much more difficult then treadmills or elipticals. Your speed is not controlled and the terrain is not even - you go up hills and down hills etc. Keep at it though. Start by interval training. For example, run 5 minutes walk 2 minutes for the first week then the next week only rest one minute or up your run time. Before you know it you will be able to run without walking.
I started my running by running 1 minute, walking 2 for 30 minutes, 3 days a week. After a week I switched to 2 run, 1 walk, and the following week I started increasing the run by a minute each run until soon I was running straight for 30 miinutes and enjoying it. I think the trick is to start slow at a pace you are comfortable with and work into it. The key is to do it regularly.
I'm a firm believer in goals, but not for weight loss as it tends to be a byproduct of a lot of other things. So you need a set of goals that'll get you more active, and along the way, you will lose weight, but only slowly.
For your first few, how about concentrating on just walking? So you could work up to walking 25 miles in a week (that's only 3 1/2 miles a day, but you've gotta be consistent, and build it up as a habit), then perhaps try for 100 miles in a month (still only just over 3 miles a day), and then work up to something a little more intense - say, 24 miles in 24 hours. By the time you're ready to start work on that, you'll be ready to start running, and Noworries' run for a minute / walk for two routine looks like an excellent way to start.
One final thing - go and see your doctor first. Chances are that they'll be full of encouragement for you, but they'll also give you a thorough check-over to make sure there isn't a very good reason for you not to exercise.
Good luck, and make sure you record your progress!
Try the "Couch Potato to 5k plan" (I am not calling you a couch potato - it is the name!), it seems to be a very popular plan to get people running, and it works! Good luck, you have joined a very supportive community - stick with it!
These are all good comments, and I'll add my $.02.
One thing I've learned in my recent fitness regimen shift is to establish a log of personal bests. These are important because every time you attempt the same exercise, you should also be looking to improve your score.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Let's say you do your first walk of 30 minutes. In that time, you covered covered 1.5 miles. Next time, you want to go 1.6 miles. Or whatever the next logical increment is.
- Say you start out doing 30 situps in 1 minute. Next time, your target is 31 situps in 1 minute.
The 2nd thing I've learned is how much diet impacts your body's ability to both improve and shed fat. Personally, I follow the Zone diet, with a few mods. If that's not of interest, the main thing I recommend to people is to stop eating sugar, and to pay close attention to the labels on processed food items. If you can drastically reduce this, you'll see amazing losses in your bodyfat percentage.
And the last thing I'll leave you with is to not pay attention to your overall weight. Do pay attention to your measurements, like waist size.
Of course losing weight is not easy, but it is attainable. I have found that the most important thing is to honor your own self-promises. Make yourself stick to the lifestyle change you decide to make...and yes, it is a total lifestyle change. Look at it as changing your habits for life. Not just to lose weight or until the weight is off. Honoring yourself and looking at it as a lifestyle change really helped me lose weight. Also, keeping a journal about your new lifestyle...anything you want to write. Frustrations, celebrations, and tracking your progress are some things I write down. Another thing I do is always have a goal...not only to lose weight, but any goal regarding health and fitness. Once you reach that goal make another...and never stop! Eating right is just as important as exercise. Don't starve yourself or you will only fail to lose weight. The human body tends to go into what we call 'starvation mode' very quickly. It is better to eat six times a day watching your portions (this is where most people need the education). I'd get with your doctor for recommendations on your personal diet, and for a physical before beginning this major life-change. Everybody is different and every body is different. Remember to honor yourself! Honor the promises you make to yourself no matter what!
First off, Welcome Bigdog! You've come to a great place.
I think I can speak from experience ( http://sweat365.com/blog/2008/05/14/lifestyle-changes-yield-big-results/ )when I say it is a your goal is very achievable. I agree 100% with everything that has been said above. I think the key thing to realize is that #1 - It is a lifestyle change. It's not a diet, those don't work and are typically "temporary" fixes. Lifestyle changes work. Incorporate small changes slowly and they will all come together in the end and stick. Find a lifestyle "program" that works for you and stick with it. #2 You didn't put it on in a day, it's not coming off in a day. I know this sounds cliche, but you need to know that there are no "quick wins". It will take time, dedication, hard work, and a committment far greater than you've probably experienced before. But, it sounds like you're in the right frame of mind to begin this lifestyle change. Go for it! And soon you'll be reaping the rewards. It's a lot of fun! #3 - As "hardly" said above, set little goals, today 1.5 miles in 30, tomorrow 1.6. Or, "goal #1 10 pounds", and once you reach that first goal, celebrate it, (in moderation) with a purchase of a new (smaller size) shirt, or something that will remind you of reaching that goal. Don't think of it as "I've got to lose 100 pounds" think of it in smaller, more obtainable goals, and before long you'll be that much closer to being where you want to be. As an example, when I lost 100 pounds, my wife bought me a new "temporary" wedding ring, because mine no longer fit, until we can get the real one re-sized.
Measurements! Yes, measure! I wish I had, but I didn't. Although, I do know I went from 36%+ body fat to 13.2%.
Surround yourself with a cheering section, like you have with sweat365.com, friends, family, co-workers, surround yourself with positive people and thoughts, they are infectious.
I can't say right now that I'll never be an Ironman finisher like Brad, because, well, honestly I don't ever want to shut that door. But, I can tell you that I'll be doing 2 Triathlons this summer, 1 sprint, and (hopefully) 1 Olympic. I can also say that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. It is not an easy voyage, but the journey is so well worth it!
I also agree with above. 3 years ago,I was seriously overweight. I had been consistently gaining about 10 pounds a year for 8 to 10 years. Then a life-changing event happened and I knew I needed to make a change. I was bored walking so I started to bike. An old Walmart mountain style bike that my kids has abandoned. It had sat outside in sun/rain and snow for at least 2 years. I had seven gears in the middle chain rail only. My first ride was 4 miles and I was done in, but I kept at it. The next year I bought a comfort bike and logged 100 miles that summer! This last winter, got a road bike for Christmas. I also started running last summer and ran through the winter. At first, I would "shuffle" from one power pole to the next and gasp to the third one, trying to recover!. Eventually, I could run 2 power poles and so on. I finished my first 2 mile Fun Run last December and ran the whole distance. For me, it helps to have a "running partner(s)". These are my 3 dogs and they LOVE to run. I think a goal also helps. I want to run a 5K now and compete in a sprint triathlon. Remember, when you have days when you "fall off track", don't waste time beating yourself up. Allow that you have had a bad day and will do better tomorrow. I have lost about 20 pounds over the last 2 years, but hey! That beats gaining 20! I feel better, sleep better and feel more rested when I wake up. Best part is, I feel like I am doing my best to avoid abandoning my family via an untimely cardiac event! Hang in there!
You sound just like me last year this time! I have lost about 70 lbs by walking/running and it all began when I did my first 5K which was exactly a year ago last Wednesday! I am happy to say I cut 14 minutes off my time from last year - 52 something to 38.1! BUT my goal was 36 minutes. I hope to do that this weekend at another 5K.
Anyway... What worked well for me was 'running' on the 5k course as my daily workout. I would run as much of the course as I could as often as I could - meaning I would say to myself that I needed to run until I past certin markers...a particular mailbox, a speed limit sign..whatever. I would run until I hit the chosen mark and then I would walk for a while. Then I would look ahead and pick another marker as tell myself that once I got there I was running again....and so on and so on until I finished the course. It took a while to run the entire first mile but you WILL get there. Even if it you just run a few steps at a time.
And don't feel discouraged over your weight. I have lost 70 pounds and STILL could have qualified for the 'heavy weight' catagory in this years race!!!! (I am 6'0 and 215) Just keep an eye on how far you have come and that sould keep you going!
Hey bigdog. There is a good reason you are enjoying the elliptical much more than the treadmill, and it has to do with impact. Every time any of us take something as simple as a step we take impact through our body much greater than a smooth elliptical. If you want to shed the poundage then check your impact and listen to your knees - I agree it is important to keep doing SOMETHING but to balance the running out with other less impact activities might be your best strategy from an injury prevention standpoint.
Hope that helps
Man - such great advice here - you guys are awesome!
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